Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Greek Vinaigrette Dressing

Growing up my Mom always made side salads to go along with her meals. Every now and again, she'd convince me it was a good idea and serve me up one too (moms can be sneaky). They weren't anything fancy. She would mix lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and my favorite Greek Vinaigrette Dressing. Ever since I could remember, my mom has always done her best to incorporate fresh fruits and veggies into our diets growing up and tried to eat as healthy as possible. I remember wanting the latest candy that turned your mouth blue and she would tell me no. The coloring will give you cancer. You don't want to die of cancer, do you? Of course she would say in Spanish so it sounded more like Ese bavosada tiene colores malos para ti. Te va a dar cancer y te vas a muir. Ya vas a ver. Always so dramatic. At least that's what I thought then. Now I think about it and of course, Mom was right. -__-

I'm not sure where she got the Greek vinaigrette dressing from, but it's always been in the family. It's so easy to make and can sit on the kitchen counter for a few weeks without going bad. I always recommend refrigeration if you don't trust the counter, but mine can sit out for 2 weeks and still taste delicious. I put it on salads, use as a marinade or spice up a rice bowl. It's very versatile and so easy to make. The best part is? It's made with all natural ingredients that are good for you. Bonus in a bottle. Another thing I love about this dressing? You dump all the ingredients into a food processor or a blender and then BAM. Instant dressing. SO EASY PEOPLE.

Greek Vinaigrette Dressing

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (or the juice of 1/2 a lemon)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2-1 tsp. salt (depending on how salty you like your dressing)
  • 1/2 c apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 c olive oil
Method:
  1. Combine all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend until fully mixed/combined.
  2. Pour contents into a dressing bottle or container of choice.
  3. Proceed to put on all of the things.
  4. Can be refrigerated or stored in a cool location. Please note - refrigeration can cause the olive oil to solidify.
  5. Makes 1 cup of dressing.
  6. Serving size: 1-2 tbsps.
Tag me at @thehungrylatina on social media when you make this dressing or use the tag #thehungrylatina! What were some things your mom would make you eat as a child that now you are grateful for?

Monday, June 6, 2016

Jerk Chicken with Coconut Rice, Beans & Mango Salsa


Back when I lived in the Bay Area, there was this Caribbean restaurant that I would go to often that had the most amazing jerk chicken I've ever had. Everything on their menu was delicious and it was very diverse with their offerings. The other day I had a mad craving for some Coconuts jerk chicken, but unfortunately I no longer live there so that was out of the question. I decided to do some research on Pinterest and I found a few different recipes that I decided to combine. This is how I created my own version of jerk chicken with coconut rice, beans and mango salsa. I topped it off with some homemade mango salsa and it was a mouf party to the max. It didn't taste exactly like Coconuts recipe, but it hit the spot and satisfied my craving for jerk chicken.

I invited my friend over for dinner on Sunday so he could try this delicious creation. Little did I know that he didn't like coconut rice or mango salsa. LOL. Oops! Turns out, he liked my version and went for seconds. So it goes to show - don't knock it until you try it!

Originally I made this recipe with chicken wings I had in the freezer, but you can easily make this with chicken thighs or breasts (thighs are way better in my opinion). I grilled mine on my George Foreman grill. Have I mentioned how AMAZING that thing is?! GAME CHANGER. It really is the little things. Thanks Mama Shirley! :) Where has it been my whole life? Ten minutes and your chicken is grilled to perfection without leaving my kitchen. That is the closest I'll get to being a grill master. I'm horrible at figuring out the grill. So George Foreman it is!

Ok so enough about my love affair with my new George Foreman grill. On to the good stuff: the actual recipe. Now don't be alarmed, there are a lot of steps to this but trust me, it's totally worth it. This is my lazy version of jerk chicken with coconut rice and beans.

Jerk Chicken with Coconut Rice and Beans
Prep Time: 30-45 minutes (depending how long it takes you to chop veggies)
Cooking time: 10-40 minutes (depending on if you use a George Foreman or grill)
Servings: 4-5
Jerk Marinade:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (I used Trader Joe's chili olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. jerk chicken seasoning (I used Spice Hunter Jerk Seasoning)
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp. red chili flakes (optional, for extra heat)
Coconut Rice:
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 can coconut milk (like Thai Kitchen)
  • 1/4 cup water or chicken stock 
  • 2 tbsps. unsweetened shredded coconut
Beans:
  • 1 can of beans (black or red kidney work fine)
Chicken:
  • 2 lbs. chicken wings/drumsticks OR
  • 1 lb. chicken thighs OR
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts 
Mango Salsa:
  • 4 ripe mangoes
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper, to taste

Method:
  1. Jerk Chicken Marinade: Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Place chicken and marinade in a large ziploc bag. Place in fridge overnight or at least an hour to combine.
  2. Coconut Rice: Combine rice, coconut milk, shredded coconut and water/chicken stock in a rice cooker. Set rice cooker settings for 1 cup of rice. Let the rice cook in the background while prepping the other ingredients.
  3. Beans: Open can of beans and place in a small sauce pan. Cook on medium until they warm up.
  4. Mango Salsa: Spray produce with veggie wash and rinse. Next, you will chop the veggies: jalapeno, red onion and cilantro. Once you've cut the veggies, peel the mangoes and then cut slices around the seed. Cube the mango. Finally, you will mix all the veggies, mangoes, salt, pepper and lime juice. Place in fridge until ready to eat.
  5. Jerk Chicken: Once the jerk chicken has had time to marry itself to the marinade, heat up your grill or George Foreman grill. Once heated to optimal temperature, place chicken on grill and cook until no longer pink in the middle (approximately 165 degree Fahrenheit). If using a George Foreman grill, set your kitchen timer for 10 minutes. Grilling will take 30-40 minutes versus 10 minutes on a George Foreman.
  6. Once the chicken, beans and rice have finished cooking, you can now plate your food!
  7. Serving suggestion: 1 chicken thigh/breast OR 6 chicken wings, 1/2 cup rice, 1/2 cup beans, 1/4 cup mango salsa (optional)
  8. Jerk Chicken rice bowl option: layer the ingredients for an easy rice bowl meal! Layer in the following order: rice, beans, cubed chicken and mango salsa. Mix and let the mouf party begin!
Tag me on social media if you make this recipe! What other easy meals do you enjoy making? Until next time my friends!

Credits:
Jerk Chicken Marinade

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